Femke van der Loo

Welcome to my portfolio! On this website you can read more about my development as an Industrial Design bachelor student at Eindhoven University of Technology. Enjoy reading!

My vision on design

We live in a world were consumption levels are fed by the thought that we should own the newest products and systems. People consume without thinking and without realizing the effects of their consumption. I strive to be a designer who makes people aware of this and to bring back the core value of designs to diminish the need for constant consumption. I therefore strongly believe that valuable design goes hand in hand with durable design, designs that last and that as a result you build a connection with. To achieve this I believe we need a change in behaviour of the users and a change in design to fight the current trend of designing irreparable products.

I want to create simplistic designs as I believe they can contribute to the creation of durable design. Simplistic design for me means design with a focus on functionality and valuable interactions with the user. I believe it enhances the ease of use which makes that the focus remains on the core functionality of the design.

Durable design plays an important role in designing for a more sustainable world. A goal I have had ever since a visit to a melting glacier in Norway and talking to the people there about the changes their surroundings are going through. While I believe it can and should certainly be a goal to design for sustainability, I also think it is important to be realistic. To be aware of the world you are designing for and especially the people in it. I believe the right balance should be found in combining the idealistic with the realistic view in order to design for this transitional period we are currently in. A period where we are aware of the changes we might need to make but also a period where we do not yet have the mindset to make these changes. I truly see the value of designing for transition because in the end we do not know how long this transition will take, if we will every fully transition to this ideal, sustainable world. I see design as a guide for people to start living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Professional Identity

In my projects I like to create designs that deliver assistance to the user. While I believe design can certainly be used to help in everyday life, for example to help in the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle, I believe that not the design but the user should be in control. In my process I also like to include the user. My goal is to create durable designs and to achieve this they should be truly valuable to the user. I use research methods like literature reviews to form an expectation of when a design is valuable to the user but a user-centred design approach is crucial in order to confirm this expectation and to identify other needs, wishes and desires the user might have. I am an empathic person and I try to use this in this process to get the most out of the research.

A way to include users and stakeholders in my process is through my exploratory and hands on way of working. I use my prototyping skills throughout the process to communicate my ideas. In my process I also like to explore the business potential of a design. I like to explore how sustainability can be extended beyond the design process into the business generation process. To do this I combine the knowledge I have on sustainable development with the skills I have of identifying the value proposition of a design.

I am a pragmatic person who likes to work precise and aims for quality. My character traits are also reflected in my overall rather structured design process. I have however learnt that being too structured can be at the cost of the creative process. Over the years I have adopted more exploratory methods and I have learnt to seek the right balance between a structured and heavily planned process and a more explorative process so that there is enough room for creativity while also maintaining an overview over the project.